into a musical family in 1957, Sanjeeb Sircar
was taught singing by his mother and encouraged
in music and to play musical instruments by his
took an active part during his school years at Allahabad,
at school music concerts, and picked up the mouth
organ, banjo, tabla, violin and drums and played
with the school band.
middle school he took lessons on the piano but could
not continue due to the passing away of his teacher.
In the following years he started to learn the guitar
and towards the later years of his school he played
guitar and joined a group of carol-singers, played
guitar with them and formed a music group, playing
Photo: Sanjeeb Sircar performing
with his Band from members of his Carol Singing
Team in 1974.
From left to right: Ernest Egbert, Elizabeth
Gorden, Vijay Benidict, Malcolm Searchfield, Sanjeeb
Sircar and Bruce Drumond.
in the cultural city of Allahabad he developed a
curiosity and desire to know more about the Sitar
and started taking lessons in the same.
finishing school, he studied electrical engineering
for a while but a more serious interest in music
led him on the advice of elders in the family-friends
circle to join the Music Faculty of the Benares
Hindu University, Varanasi, for a full-time study
of the Sitar.
main teachers there were Dr.Raj Bhan Singh, at whose
residence he initially stayed, and Dr.K.C.Gangrade,
Dean of the Music Faculty. He completed a diploma
in Benares also gave him a wider exposure to the
gamut of North India Classical Music and Dance,
with the numerous concerts being held there, with
renowned artists like Pt. Ravi Shankar, Ustad Ali
Akbar Khan, Ustad Vilayat Khan, Ustad Amjad Ali
Khan, and his present teacher Ustad Shujaat Khan,
and others coming to perform there. It also made
it possible for him to interact with many fine foreign
musicians who had come to study Indian Music and
culture in the city of Benares.
returning to Allahabad after two years he continued
to study the Sitar with the ninty year old veteran
Sitar teacher Pt.Banwari Lal and continued visiting
Benares for concerts and meeting other musicians
periodically. In his spare time he also started
taking lessons in tabla.
1978 he was invited to Italy where he played Sitar
at many places and played fusion music with other
musicians using other musical instruments as the
guitar, saxophone, flute, piano, tabla, etc. and
gave some private lessons.
returning to India he continued an extensive training
in Sitar with Pt.Banwari Lal for about four years,
which included practice-lesson sessions, which often
lasted up to 4 to 5 hours at a stretch, besides
another 4 to 5 hours of daily private practice,
and with some other noted musicians of the city
including Pt.Shantanu Chatterji.
this period Sanjeeb also learnt the piano and played
the organ and piano in churches, sang in choirs,
completed graduation from the Kanpur University
privately in Sociology, English Literature, Indian
Music; and took the degree of Sangit Prabhakar from
the Prayag Sangit Samiti, Allahabad, in Sitar.
then returned to Benaras, took up a part-time job
performing in the evenings at a three star hotel,
while continuing his study of the Sitar, teaching
privately, playing, teaching and learning and experimenting
with different forms of music like, Fusion, Western
Classical, and Jazz, with foreign musicians for
about an year.
relocating to New Delhi in the early-eighties he
worked as music teacher at a few well-known institutions
and also performed professionally and had a chance
to see a wide variety of programmes in the metropolis
of New Delhi.
1986 he got the opportunity to travel to England
where he performed and then went to the U.S.A. where
he performed and taught the Sitar at a number of
places for about an year and gained more experience
and knowledge of Western Music.
returning to New Delhi he took up a job as Music
teacher at Blue Bells International School and completed
further studies in Sitar with Dr.Moni Das, a senior
student of Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, and took the degree
of Sangit Praveen (Post-Graduation) from the Prayag
in New Delhi also gave him the opportunity to pursue
his interest in Western Music in his spare time
and he joined a Western Music Christian Choir as
a tenor singer, took lessons in Western Classical
and Jazz Piano, completing the fifth grade from
the Trinity College of Music, London, played piano
on most Sundays at Churches and played Pop, Rock,
Jazz and popular Indian Music professionally with
well known local music groups using the Guitar,
Keyboards and Sitar and singing.
to further improve his standard of playing the Sitar,
he started taking lessons from Ustad Shujaat Khan,
renowned Sitar virtuoso, and has been learning from
him since the last twelve years.
the knowledge and experience gained over the years,
Sanjeeb feels he has yet to use it to its full potential.
He is based at New Delhi presently and works as
a teacher of music and a performer.